Monday, 30 May 2011

H is for... Holidays

It's no secret, I love to travel.

I've been to some amazing countries over the years and passion for travel will never fade - it's just the big stuff has been put on hold for a little while.

I want to share a holiday we took last year to Lanzarote.

I'm sharing this is order to spread this amazing place to more Mums and Dads who may be a little wary of travelling with babies, toddlers and young children. With a place like this you need not be!

I must admit that the thought of going on holiday with a then 13 month old Mini Cheddar terrified the life out of me. The thought of not being able to relax in a hotel or apartment, the thought of having to be all eyes by the pool and having to try to pack enough things to entertain her for 7 nights.

I did quite a lot of searching online and then stumbled across the mention of a place in Lanzarote on a forum about travelling with kids.  I checked it out and it seemed too good to be true!  We booked it for a week in May 2010 and it's one of the best holidays I've ever had.  Which, considering all my previous holidays have been without children that's saying something.

Casa Arabella is a beautiful 2 bedroom villa (with heated fenced pool) in the lovely resort of Playa Blanca in Southern Lanzarote. I had always thought that a villa holiday would be extremely expensive but we paid £450 for the week and got cheap flights with Ryanair (don't knock them too much, we've never had a problem with them).

The service I received from the people who ran the villa was fabulous, even before we departed.  They were able to advise on flights and offered me an extensive list of what was included in the villa.  I was amazed at all the baby and toddler items that were included (a 2 page list no less!). It meant we literally didn't have to take a thing with us - which is good with a Ryanair baggage allowance.

Here is just a small selection of what is included:

  • More toys and books than your child will need for two weeks, never mind one!
  • All toddler and baby plates, cups and cutlery
  • Cot with mosquito net if required
  • Highchair - a really lovely huge one, not like the usual cheap ones you get
  • A portable highchair to take out to restaurants
  • The biggest bucket of pool toys and inflatables you've ever seen
  • Bath toys
  • Potty, step stool etc.
  • Terrace play area with slide
  • They can supply a buggy if needed and a carseat etc.

I could go on and on.  Basically, the people who own the villa have a little girl who has now grown out of these things.  All the items are still in great condition - don't worry, there are also plenty of boys toys in the villa...Mini Cheddar grew very attached to a toy truck while we there!

I don't want to bore anyone with this post - I just want it to serve a purpose to tell you about this place so if you are thinking of holidaying abroad with babies/young children it may give you food for thought.  We had a fabulous holiday.

Now here are a couple of links you need if you're interested but be warned - book in advance! It can get booked up very quickly.... obviously.

Lanzarote Lates website for the villa - details everything much better than me!
Tripadvisor reviews - one of them is mine!

Finally, I'll leave you with some pictures and just say that obviously this is NOT a sponsored post and I did not receive any sort of payment for this post.

Mini Cheddar with some of the toys at the villa
Mini Cheddar with some of the toys at the villa
The Dining Room - You can see the highchair at the back
The dining room - you can see the highchair at the back
Lounge and kitchen
Lounge and kitchen 
Lounge - looking out to the pool
Lounge looking out to the pool
Lounge to dining room (Mini Cheddar STILL playing)
Lounge to dining room (Mini Cheddar STILL playing)
Main bedroom
Main bedroom
Twin bedroom (with cot in place)
Twin bedroom (with cot in place)
One of the two sun terraces
One of the two sun terraces
The removable pool fence for peace of mind
The removable pool fence for peace of mind
Cupboard full of baby and toddler feeding equipment
Cupboard full of baby and toddler feeding equipment
The heated pool
The heated pool

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12 comments:

HELEN said...

that place looks great - and it has our toys! The Mega Bloks princess carriage & WOW toys campervan my daughter had & Jack has that sand digger!
We've taken Jack abroad 3 times so far, 7mths, 17mths & almost 2 (squeezed a last one in before we had to pay for him!) & the best one by far was when we went to a villa in Menorca, he could have his afternoon nap & we could still swim in the pool - I would recommend it to anyone that's worried about travelling with a baby. The more they travel the easier it gets too.
I hope you enjoy your next holiday as much as this one
x

Tania @ Larger Family Life said...

That looks fantastic and I am so impressed with the price too. You got a great deal there!

SAHMlovingit said...

You're so right Helen that staying in a villa is the easiest option for a stressless holiday with a young 'un. We would relax by the pool when MC had her afternoon nap. Our pool was lit at night too and heated so we'd often have wine and a dip in the pool at night when she was asleep.

Lady Estrogen said...

HA! You just confirmed why I think it's insanity why anyone with kid(s) doesn't own a minivan. We take most of your list even when just going out to a restaurant! lol

MaƱana Mama said...

Wow, that looks amazing, thanks for the suggestion! Looking forward to taking proper holiday soon...

Mummy Mishaps aka Jenny Paulin said...

Sounds like a very well equipped villa, how refreshing to find accommodation that not only welcomes young children but caters so well for them. Saves having to take things doesn't it?
I am very envious of your holiday *sighs* it's a great post, reassures me that some holidays can be suitable for little ones xx

Michelle Twin Mum said...

What a fabulous place, we have noy brave enough to do abroad with all the kids yet!

Mich x

Edspire said...

This looks lovely! We have been trying to find somewhere to go for a honeymoon in Spetember with the twins but have been mainly looking at hotels, now I am thinking we should go for a villa. The only thing is having to do the cooking!

Lauren "Real Housewife" said...

Wow! The villa looks amazing. And a heated pool too, very lucky. The pools at the hotel we stayed in were freeeeeeeeeeeeeezing. I've bookmarked this post.

Thanks for sharing! :-D xx

and doesn't Mini Cheddar look tiny!!

Angela Poxon said...

Wow thats our villa! Thanks very much indeed for the fab reviews, we are chuffed to bits you enjoyed your holiday so much. We have redecorated recently - we are fully booked in 2011 thanks to super guests like you but we are taking bookings for 2012 -come back soon! x

tinuke said...

the villa looks fab and I'll bookmark this page as we're thinking of a villa holiday for next year!
Great to go on recommendations you can trust!

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